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A journey of one thousand steps

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    A journey of one thousand steps


    There is a person that I am, and a person that I want to be, and in many ways, these two people are not the same. In fact, if pressed to answer, I don’t know that I could not list very many things I truly like about myself, as I am today.

    The person that I am, or the person that I see myself as, is angry and unkind. He’s pessimistic, and quick to see the worst in things. He’s out of shape, and unhealthy; uncomfortable in his own skin.

    The person that I want to be is mindful and calm. He is maybe not athletic, or even fit necessarily, but at least he is free of the aches and pains associated with morbid obesity. He can stand the sight of himself in the mirror.

    * * *

    I wasn't always like this. I used to be in shape. I wasn't skinny, but I was at least fit. I would run 5ks for fun, and I'd be in the gym every day. At one point, I even went to a professional wrestling school for fun. At this point, I haven't been in a gym in almost ten years.

    I want to get to the point where I am exercising every day, some way some how, until I am even running 5Ks, 10Ks, marathonsm even. I want to do yoga again. I want to start a mindfulness practice again, so I can try to find the calm that I've misplaced. I've been a follower of the Buddhist path for a decade, but lately, I've become a pretty bad one. I want to practice martial arts down the line, but right now, I don't even know where to start.

    * * *

    I’m over 300 pounds today, and my body fat percentage is almost 50%. That means I could lose 100 pounds, and still be considered overweight. My BMI is over 40, which means I am literally so obese, I could die from that alone. And that's if everything else doesn't get me first. I also have high blood pressure, poor cholesterol, and high glucose and A1C. I have low testosterone, and macular degeneration, and sleep apnea. And all of that comes back to my weight, as does the low testerone and macular edema. If I lost 100 pounds, I could still be overweight, but who knows what my health could look like then?

    I have always looked at my father, and his laundry list of ailments, and thought that if he'd taken the doctors advice in his thirties and changed his lifestyle, he wouldn't be on his deathbed in his sixties. I'm 30 years old, and my laundry list is as long as his. I need to change my lifestyle.

    Not too long ago, a friend of mine died rather suddenly from a massive heart attack. The last thing I'd said to him was "if you don't fix your blood pressure, you're gonna end up dead." The last thing he said to me was "if you don't do the same, you will too." I don't want to end up dead. I have two boys and a wife who need me to stick around.

    I don’t know exactly how to get to where I want to be -- there’s no real road map for a journey like this -- but I have some ideas. I picked up some books to help with my mindset, I’ve made some plans to improve my health. Because, the thing is, I’ve been saying for years now that I need to change, but in that time, I haven’t made a single permanent change for the better.

    It's time to make a change.

    There is a quote from Lao Tzu that said "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." There's another that's attributed to him, but I don't think he ever said, that said "if you don't change your direction, you may end up where you're going."

    When I look at my father, I see where I'm going, and I don't like it. Or worse, when I think of my friend, I known I need to change direction. The journey ahead of me will be a long one, but I'm ready to take that first step, and I look forward to seeing where it may take me.


    Baseline (April 4, 2020 - )



      Start Date: April 4, 2020
      Start Weight: 302.2 lbs.
      Start Body Fat %: 47.7%
      Start BMI: 42.1%

      End Date:
      End Weight:
      End Body Fat %:
      End BMI:

      Day One - Day Two -


        April 4, 2020:.

        I would be lying if I said this was my first day one. I've done this a hundred times before, like I'm sure so many of you have as well. But that doesn't matter, because I did it, which is more than I can say for yesterday.

        I weighed in this morning at 302.2 lbs, and the scale showed my body fat percentage as 47.7%. Honestly that's super upsetting, because just a few months ago, I was closer to 280 and 44%, but the last few months have been stressful. I was promoted, which was great but brought on new stressors, and then my wife had an accident that has left her temporarily disabled, which has been a whole different beast. I have been eating like garbage, and spending far too much time on the couch. I told myself in January that I was going to walk every day of 2020, and while I did for a few weeks, anymore, I feel guilty doing something for myself when she can't even get out of bed.

        But I did it today. I got on the treadmill for about 25 minutes this morning, and later on, I did the first day of Darebee's Baseline program. I felt a little silly starting on a "level one" program, since I do have a history of being slightly athletic, but I was surprised to find that the program really did get a bit of a burn going in my arms.

        I sat on the cushion for about 5 minutes today, which is another small self-care habit that I've deprived myself of lately as well, and while there was no great insight, it felt good to get back to that habit as well.

        My food choices could have been better, but they also could have been worse, which I'm trying to remind myself of. We had sandwiches with chips for lunch, and pizza for dinner. Sure, a salad would be better, but at least it wasn't McDonald's, so it's a small victory. And I also had 6 bottles of water today, meeting my daily water goal.

        Fitbit says I logged 8,619 steps today, over my goal of 8,000, and 18 floors of stairs, over my goal of 10, so all things considered, today was a good activity today. But today was also a Saturday, so there was no work to take up a large chunk of my day. I'm not sure I can guarantee a weekday will go as well, but that doesn't matter. For now, I had a good first day on the road to an improved me.


          Obiwan.Shinobi So to put this in perspective, I started last year at 322 and yesterday when I weighed in I was at 224. I have been up against what you are ... it is possible.

          One thing I tell myself is that I like to compete against two people - to stay ahead of the person that I was and to try to catch the person that I could be. That guy that I was ... he is a tricky guy, you don't always see him creeping up on you, but sometimes he gets the better of you. On the other hand, the person that I am today, could also quite likely be the person that I was trying to be yesterday. He is maybe even trickier, you sometimes don't realize that he is around until a month or two later.

          Sometimes the one guy wins, but as long as I keep chasing the other, then I will come out ok, even if I know I will never catch him.


            Hey, CaptainCanuck thanks for the message.

            That's a really cool perspective to have, and it's interesting that you mention it because I've recently started trying to make choices based on what future me might like. Like, right now me might like to lay around all day watching movies and cuddling my dog, but future me would probably prefer if I get changed, clean up the kitchen and help the kids with their homeschooling. It seems that what I'm trying to do and what you're saying you do might blend together pretty well.

            As far as your example goes, it sounds like a good way to keep yourself accountable, but also not beat yourself up when you slip up here and there too, which is definitely something I need to work more on.

            And the part about your weight progress, that's super encouraging to me, because I feel like I've gravitated between 280 and 300 for so long, I've sort of gotten to the point where I don't entirely feel it's possible to get to 265, or 220, or 185, or any other number I've set myself up for. It's always good to see someone else who's walked this same path and has had success. Makes it feel a little more attainable.

            Thanks for commenting, man. I appreciate it!


              April 5, 2020:.

              I woke up today, not in the mood to really do much of anything at all. Anxiety hit me pretty hard last night, and I found myself tossing and turning until about 2am before I finally crashed. And then, to be up at 7 with my kids, I was beat and didn't want to be accountable for anything. I certainly wasn't going to get on the treadmill.

              And then, I saw my youngest choking back tears as he explained that he hates feeling trapped inside. This COVID-19 business has everyone's routines screwed up, and with my wife being disabled at the moment, it's on me to make sure the kids days are well managed too. Lately, that means a lot of isolation and social distancing like the government suggests, but that's not always best for a six year old.

              So, we went for a hike. My oldest wanted to stay home and play video games, so I took my youngest and our dog on a new trail I'd found online. He was a pro, we did 4.1 miles in under 2 hours, which is a ton of exercise for such a little guy, and I wracked up my first 15,000+ step day on Fitbit (almost doubling my goal of 8,000), and all those mountain trails were considered to be 41 floors (over my goal of 10). So, after I inadvertently got a heck-ton of fitness worked in, I decided I could do Darebee too, why the heck not. I did day 2 of Baseline, but only at level 1, so three sets.

              I did stay off the treadmill though!

              All of that positive stuff aside, I don't think I have the energy to cook dinner at this point, so after sitting down for a few minutes of meditation, it's looking like it's gonna be pot luck dinner tonight, and maybe a movie. I know I should do like, a quick sub or something, but honestly, a great big bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is calling me, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing. One negative doesn't outweigh 15,000+ positives, does it?

              Tomorrow, I expect to wake up super sore, but for now, I'm really proud of myself for taking a day that started off on a bad note, and turned it into (statistically), one of the better days imaginable.


                Your post from yesterday is awesome! And it's wonderful that you were able to share a good hike with one of your sons. I hope you enjoyed the cereal.

                Maybe your sons would be interested in joining you for DareBee? If so, that might be a good way to help you stay interested. One word of warning though: If your body makes unexpected noises or bounces or other unpleasantries while you work-out, you'll be 1,000 times more aware of that while working out with your little ones. When that happens, keep pushing through and reminding yourself that you're doing something for you, doing something for them, and being a good role model for them regardless of sounds, bounces, etc. (Speaking from personal experience, there.)

                And if you like being outdoors, you can always use your phone (or a paper & pen) to just take DareBee outside. Doing exercise that you can tolerate in a location you like makes everything so much better.